Alfalfa /æl?fælf?/, Medicago sativa, also called lucerne, is a perennial flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. The Spanish-Arabic name alfalfa is widely used, particularly in North America and Australia. But in the UK, South Africa and New Zealand, the more commonly used name is lucerne. It superficially resembles clover, with clusters of small purple flowers followed by fruits spiralled in 2 to 3 turns containing 10-20 seeds. Alfalfa is native to a warmer temperate climate such as that of Iran. It has been cultivated as livestock fodder since at least the era of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
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